Readers may remember the story of Ed Watson (pictured left) and his partner Derence Kernek who, earlier this year, joined a campaign to ask the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift the stay on Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision overturning Proposition 8. Why? Because Ed was suffering from Alzheimer’s and therefore really couldn’t wait to marry his partner of 40 years. Sadly, it was announced on Thursday that Ed passed away.
Earlier this year Ed wrote a letter asking the 9th Circuit to lift the stay on Judge Walker’s decision so that, while it decided the Proposition 8 issue, same-sex couples could once again marry. This plea was denied.
Yet for Ed and Derence it wasn’t just about the emotional significance of marriage but the rights that marriage confers, something that is now painfully obvious following Ed’s death.
“Just wanted to let you know that Ed passed at 22:15 this evening,” Kernek, 80, said in an email to friends and supporters from the couple’s home in Palm Springs.
The couple’s inability to marry deprived Watson of coverage under Kernek’s out-of-state retirement plan, imposing financial hardships.
Kernek could not be reached for comment because, according to Courage Campaign organizer Anthony Ash, their telephone was recently disconnected.
The letter that Ed sent, which you can read here, was also accompanied by the following video which I include in memory of Ed and an issue that was obviously deeply important to him:
Our thoughts are with Derence at this most difficult time.
Image taken from the Courage Campaign project video with no infringement intended.